Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Old friends are new again - tuna fish

As a teen, I remember making a can of tuna into salad and just eating the entire thing. I wasn't at all into fish, but tuna was different...

In the intervening years, I've gotten to like (some) cooked fish. And raw fish. But with that my palate was less and less interested in tuna-from-a-can.

Friday, however, I got stuck out and a little desperate. I was leaving for the whole weekend, and all I had with me were wraps, rice cakes, matzo, hummus and butter. This wasn't going to work on my low-carb diet.

Not only that, but I was getting hungry already. And late. I still needed to drive for two hours, and by then my blood sugar would no doubt have dropped past any reasonable point for me to be driving!

In desperation, I searched Walmart's aisles for *anything* I could eat. All I could find were little single-serve shelf-stable tubs of (plain) tuna and salmon. I looked for the "kits" (you know, the ones with mayo, relish, crackers + a breath mint?) before I realized that I couldn't eat them.

At that point, I would've eaten the dog food if I wasn't allergic to it.

So I munched down the (plain) salmon on some Triskits (a bit of a cheat, probably, but the Trader Joe's and Nature's Promise ones are just wheat and salt!).. not easy in the car (and the cats did love me when I arrived!), but possible.

For lunch I had a hummus and tuna wrap. It wasn't half bad!

Tonight I had another tuna wrap, with a little lemon instead of the hummus. It did leave me grumbling about how even ATKINS let you have CHEESE, but it was pretty good.

I think I need to remember these!

(In other news, we located a chinese restaurant right near my husband's house that not only *said* they'd bring me steamed chicken + veggies with no sauce, but actually DID! I was thrilled. I ate it twice that weekend. )

(ETA: Canned tuna usually contains soy. Luckily, I'm not so allergic that I need to avoid these trace amounts. )

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A different lesson in care and feeding of Kats...

The Morning is crucial.

I'm super stupid in the morning. So stupid that I recently ate almost an entire bowl of granola before realizing that it tasted like sour cream. That kind of stupid. Sometimes people suggest I make eggs for breakfast for the protein. These are never the people who've seen me first thing in the AM - people who've seen KNOW that I can't be trusted with hot things (or knives) early in the AM!.

I have to eat FIRST THING. Alright.. I can pee first. But that is IT. I get up, pour a bowl of non-sugared cereal (usually bite size shredded wheat or granola), and eat.

If there's adrenaline involved (if I say, wake up 15 mins before I'm supposed to be AT work..), I can get away with a bit more, but I'll still feel "off" all day.

I usually get up around 7 am. Today my housemate woke me up at 12:40, because she knew I needed to eat. I'd needed the sleep, and my body would have gladly slept another 2 hours (I'd already slept at least 10..), but I got up. And it was already too late. I had shredded wheat immediately, struggled to open a window, then HAD to make myself eggs because I could already feel the blood sugar plummeting. Two hours later, I was overdue for food again.

So, in addition to losing several hours to "over" sleeping, I lost about 3 to the general fatigue etc. of low blood sugar.

I suppose it's a bit of a blessing that I have to be out of the house by 10 tomorrow AM - It's already late enough that I suspect I'd gladly (if stupidly) sleep until noon again!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Adventures in Mexican

Wednesday is my "off" day during the week, so I try to do more than just microwave dinner. Tonight's attempt was Mexican, sans cheese, pepper (black and bell) and corn.

I really should have done more research first, but I think "tacos" was one of The Meals that my Dad deemed workable in high school. You fried some ground beef with The Seasonings, chopped up a tomato, opened some salsa, pulled out some cheese and lettuce and you were golden. Maybe some sour cream, if you'd remembered while at the store.

No Seasoning Packet. No cheese, no sour cream. No taco shells. (and no lettuce, but that was purely because I don't eat it fast enough to keep around)

Mexican not-tacos.
1.3# ground turkey
2 pods of onion& garlic in bacon fat (or some chopped onion and garlic and oil)
1 tomato

Melt pods of onion + garlic in pan over med heat, add turkey. Add spices. Move turkey around in pan until brown. Add chopped tomato.

1 can Azuki beans (organic! Already cooked w/ the kombu in them!)
1 cup rice (from the freezer, I made rice on Saturday and froze to use whenever)

Put in pot together. Cook over low/med until warm.

Makes 4 servings

1 Food for Life brown rice tortilla per serving.

Each serving was about 490 calories, 37 grams of protein and about 50 g. carbs. The brown rice tortilla is about half that, and I actually would have been OK without it.. they taste a lot like corn (if you haven't had it in years) , but they crumble too much to actually use as wraps. I meant to try to make corn-free corn muffins from millet, which seems to have a similar consistency.

Other notes - 1.3# of ground turkey should either be thawed for more than 12 hours in the fridge OR cooked in a larger frying pan OR covered. Hard to split it apart and flip it in my standard cast-iron fryer.
Two onion/garlic pods were maybe not enough.
What else is in "Mexican Seasoning", anyway?
Cardamom... not really right.
Azuki may be a little sweet for this application

Overall... I think it came out pretty good, if a little bland (er, which translates to VERY bland for the rest of you..). I'll have to try it again sometime.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The problem with corn.

The problem with corn is it's ubiquitousness. Between 2000 and 2006 it had re-insinuated itself into my diet so successfully that I was surprised when it showed up on a test. It was so hard to avoid that I just...stopped.

If you've ever tried to avoid corn, you have an inkling how hard it is. If you aren't allergic, it's damn near impossible...mostly because it's impossible to tell when you've failed. Corn goes beyond "high fructose corn syrup" and into things like "food starch" or "sugar" (and I bet you thought "sugar" meant it was from sugar cane, didn't you?)

Driving home from dance class tonight, I heard a bit on the radio about a movie called King Corn. Which is yet more about how ubiquitous corn is. Here's the scary part though:

CHENEY: Yeah, Steve Macko is a professor at the University of Virginia and he had been testing his students and coming up with some pretty startling results. And we sent him some of our baby hair and some of our adult hair and he noticed a difference, actually, between those two samples. He noticed that our adult hair was made out of carbon that seemed to be coming from corn. Corn—the way it photosynthesizes carbon—leaves a kind of a signature that he could trace with his maspectrometer.

Creepy, huh?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Difficult food time - the pre dance-class rush.

Tonight I actually sampled one of the spinach Croquettes that I made on Saturday.. it was alright. I made a mock egg Florentine (or is it Benedict?) with an egg and a croquette - I was good and left out the bread altogether.

I reheated the croquette at the same time as I was making the egg - it's a big pan after all! And even then, the two looked like teenagers on a first date. Lonely and unsure.

Also, the croquette was a little chilly inside when I finally ate them. Perhaps I should have put it in the pan earlier?

Before this wacky diet, I would've scarfed down a grilled cheese sandwich, or maybe a quesidilla - this didn't take much more prep time, and I'm sure it has more protein, more vitamins and probably less fat.